Don't Get Sick with the Food you Eat while Traveling!
What is Traveler's Diarrhea? You may have already heard or even experienced it while enjoying your once in a lifetime type of vacation as it caused an abrupt end to your long planned and most awaited trip. This is a type of loose bowel movement that occurs in a significant number of people who travel to foreign countries or unfamiliar places or when you visit places where the climate or sanitary practices are different from yours.
Though it doesn't necessarily mean that the food we eat at home are safer than the food abroad. Traveling can bring you in contact with things that your body is not accustomed with, the reason why it's easier to get sick. But common cause of TD may be contributed to variety of bacteria which are usually found in contaminated food and water.
An estimated 30% of travelers experience traveler's diarrhea, depending on the time of the year and where. Fortunately, this type of diarrhea isn't usually serious but it's most certainly unpleasant. Most cases improve within one to two days and clear up within a week depending on how serious the diarrhea is or if no complications arise. However, you can have a number of episodes of diarrhea during one trip that could bring your adventure to the finish line.
Here are some helpful tips on how you can prevent Traveler's Diarrhea and enjoy your much anticipated, one of a kind trip:
1. Research Before You Go. Learn on the locations of restaurants or groceries, convenience store or food stalls near your destination who have good reviews and have reliable sanitary or hygienic practices.
2. Get Up To Date On Vaccines. There may be specific vaccines that could help you out to prevent getting sick.
3. Bring Over-The-Counter Medications. In the worst case scenario that you get to have diarrhea symptoms, instead of buying medications that you're not familiar with, these OTC drugs can be handy. Talk to your General Practitioners on recommendations.
4. Pack Carefully. Bring lots of disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer as these would be useful if water deems not to be safe or clean.
5. Carry a Travel Health Kit. Make sure your kit is approved by the Travel Security Administration. Check on Amazon what are TSA approved bags that you can use.
6. Avoid Tap Water. Be smart enough to not get fooled by appearance of cleanliness. This includes fountain drinks and ice. If you have to ask don't drink it. Choose drinks that are in manufactured sealed containers such as bottled or canned. Also, it is safer to drink hot beverages such as coffee and tea.
7. Control your Adventurous Tongue as Much as You Can. It could be very tempting to taste new and exotic food from unknown sidewalk or street vendors. But no matter how curious you are, it is safest to skip these dishes specially unknown bush meats and food from the wild as it is not only diarrhea that you might have but much worse.
8. Avoid Raw Meat, Fish, Eggs and Shellfish as well as Raw Produce. Cooked food is safe only after it's been heated to a high enough internal temperature to kill harmful bacteria.
9. Wash your Hands as Often as You can. Use soap or hand sanitizer while doing so. Proper hand washing whether traveling or at home proved to be one of the best way to prevent food borne illnesses.
10. Drink Plenty of Fluids if you Get Sick. If your symptoms get worse and becomes more serious, seek Medical Treatment.